This corner is for quilt panels that have not yet been combined with others to make the enormous quilt squares (composed of eight panels, each of which is 3 feet by 6 feet). The squares are about as tall, when complete, as the height of two tall adults. They also have posters, photographs, exhibition panels, and other wonderful memorabilia of the Quilt’s many displays and journeys over the years, since 1987.
The collection of fire-proof filing cabinets forms the archives of the NAMES Project, as these contain the paperwork, letters, and any other items that family members, friends, and lovers have sent in along with their quilt panels over the years. I would love to work on the collection. Love.
You can also see the collection of vintage sewing machines that have been given to the woman who designs, compiles, and sews all of the panels into larger squares (I can’t remember her name at the moment). She has been with the Quilt since its inception–25 years now. Those tables are the exact size of the panel measurements, for ease in combining and working on them.
This one is blurry, unfortunately, but there is the main hall back into the shelves where the Quilt is stored. Squares are stacked and folded (by the way, not the best preservation technique) so that all 50,000+ can fit in this fairly limited warehouse space. A log is kept indicating when a square has been “checked out” of its place on the shelves, or when it is sent off as part of a display or exhibition. I can’t believe that what stretches for acres and acres when it is unfurled is all being stored down these modest aisles.
That’s us. I am also regularly floored when I think my image and our family’s words to Craig and his mom and sister have been in this collection for more than a decade already. Our small, meaningful contribution to this important memorial is stored and shared along with the countless–millions–of other stories, memories, prayers, and words shared over the years.
The statement below our pictures reads:
Thank you Craig, Sharon, and Kim for your real-life lessons in courage, strength and family love. Our kids witnessed understanding and deep compassion through our friendship – a valuable lesson for life, for all.